User Testing and Validation
Did you know that an average person uses about 9 apps a day and 30 per month?
When you develop mobile applications, validation is a crucial part of the process—especially when you want to gauge how your apps perform before their release. However, it takes skill and proper methods to make the most out of your testing.
Don’t dismiss this process yet.
With this guide, you’ll learn everything about user testing and validation. This ensures you know their significance to your application and use them well. Read on and find out more.
What Is User Testing and Validation?
The usability testing method is a common technique to ascertain if your app is usable. It involves getting users from your target audience to do a set of tasks within a controlled scenario.
This may include signing up for an account or buying a product. While this is happening, observers will take some notes.
They highlight the areas where users succeeded, as well as those where they struggled. This allows them to revisit their designs later and make important enhancements.
This gives you insight into your user’s behavioral patterns, opinions, and preferences.
This ensures that this feedback contributes to a more successful product. Testing early during the design process lets you prevent costly re-designs.
You need not gather a big sample of participants for a user testing session. It’s because you aim to get more qualitative data. The good news is that you can use remote user testing tools if you want to test more people.
The user testing session also allows you to use a wide range of testing tools. This ensures each session fulfils your objectives. It’s because you chose the best technique for your needs.
What Is the Importance of User Testing?
With over 2.56 million applications on the Play Store, you must ensure your app is ready before its release. The highest quality apps likely went through numerous improvements. With that, here are some reasons why user testing is important for app development.
1. Get a Change in Perspective
When you make the UX design of an app, you might have an idea of what its features should be. You’ll feel like your initial idea is the best solution for the application in most cases. However, with user testing, you’ll get a fresher perspective on this front.
With users contributing toward your vision, you’re likely to find efficient use for your app. For example, if you’re making a time scheduling tool, you might think that setting up the location before the time is more efficient. However, most users prefer setting the time first before the location.
The help of your users means opening more growth opportunities. If you change your perspective, the possibilities surrounding your application grow.
2. Identify the Real Problems
If you’re one of the 5,000 smartphone app developers in Australia, you likely love coming up with solutions. However, solutions aren’t an immediate indicator of a problem’s existence. If you put the effort to understand your users, you can identify their problems.
As a developer, you make apps to solve problems, not invent solutions for problems that don’t exist. You can achieve this by testing real users. It’s because they use your apps in a way that designers and stakeholders won’t.
Take note, the top applications in the market took the time to understand their audience. They put in some effort to understand minor and irrelevant questions. Most consumers will notice the small things you put in, meaning it makes all the difference.
3. Build an App With a Higher Success Chance
Your UX design process will be faulty if you never exposed and tested it with real users—especially when you don’t do it before finalizing the project. Any design’s first iteration will have flaws, biases, and missing pieces.
Even the most experienced developers would recommend user testing to find the best solutions. It’s also an exclusive benefit if you want to discover some application issues before launch. They still do this process even when they feel satisfied with their design.
Even when you think everything is perfect, you must let other users experience your app. For example, you might make a clean and decluttered UI. However, you may still find issues after user testing, like low contrast.
You’ll likely realize that making something beautiful but unusable is unacceptable. It’s a painful fact, but a valuable lesson nevertheless. You can also check our guide if you want to boost your brand visibility.
4. Learn Lessons to Improve App Development
Discovering that the perfect application in your head has flaws can be devastating. However, to make the most out of your application, you must set your ego aside. Embrace your failures and grow from them.
Without letting other people test your application, you won’t learn this hard truth. This helps you learn that your app designs must prioritize accessibility above all. It might come as a no-brainer to some people, but it’s easy to fall into this pitfall when developing an app.
When working with clients or stakeholders, talk about the cost-effectiveness of user testing. They’re likely to give positive feedback if you list the financial benefits first. Tell them that it’s less expensive to fail early instead of after the app’s design implementation.
With that, you’ll learn how critical user testing is for refining your solution. This delivers an optimised and iterated product, resulting in a higher degree of success in the future.
5. Discover Pain Points
You must make user testing a fundamental part of your app development process. You can only aspire to think about each minute detail, use case, or user flow. Testing your designs while making them allows you to get feedback from future users.
The most important part is that these people work outside your project’s team. This gives you an unbiased method of proving whether your design works in practice. If you discover issues before finishing the interface, you’ll save yourself from future stress and costs.
Sometimes, making a design decision based on existing features is obvious. Letting users test your app makes it easier to identify small problems that hurt user experience. Users may feel frustrated with your app regardless of the scale of the problem.
If you want to succeed as a mobile app developer, read our post. It contains some of the best secrets to make yourself grow. Before long, you’ll develop the best practices necessary for your continued career.
6. Validate Assumptions and Avoid Complete Failure
Mature design organizations have user testing as part of their company culture. This means you must talk and involve your users and update them often. With this, you deliver true value and cater to their exact needs.
If you leave out user testing from the design process, you’ll likely fail. That’s why it’s always surprising to find some companies who refuse to adopt user testing. Take note, 44% of Australian businesses fail because of poor strategic management.
That’s why your company must prioritize user testing, regardless of the app’s component. It applies whether it’s a core feature or an improvement of an existing application.
Doing this won’t mean that you have no faith in your ability to make a great app. User testing is about confirming your theories without waiting or paying a large sum. This also applies when you fail since it allows you to adapt as soon as possible.
7. Get Continuous Feedback
It’s critical for your business success to get insights from users in a short time. This enables you to iterate with your key stakeholders faster. Aside from app design and development, this principle applies to marketing as well.
If your company has no continuous feedback log from customers, it will have slow progress. Are you having trouble getting approval for user testing? If so, better escalate to the higher-ups in the organization.
At the very least, you’ll know the reason behind the decision to avoid focusing on user testing. The best scenario is to work with management to give more focus on this process. It allows you to highlight expensive and unnecessary costs when businesses exclude testing before the app’s release.
App User Testing Strategies
The best part is that many user testing methods for applications won’t break your budget. At the same time, these methods are effective in revealing your app’s strong and weak points. Here are some methods of user testing to help you stamp out the competition.
1. Use a Small Sample of Users to Start
With user testing, you can learn a lot of things, even with five or six participants. That’s why you must start small with a handful of testers. The caveat is that they must be as close to your ideal user base as possible.
Let these users test your apps and learn from their feedback. After that, make your improvements and let another group test them.
This maintains an unbiased view of your application. It also gives you some peace of mind that the same problems won’t emerge later on.
2. Let Users Test the App Using Various Devices
Mobile applications aren’t exclusive to smartphones. That’s why if you’re doing app user testing, you must opt for various devices. This accounts for the differences in both user behaviour and flows across various devices.
For example, Android users’ screen flows will be different from that of iOS users. This also applies when a user has a smartphone or a tablet.
If you do this, it ensures that you’re catering to your app users and their particular behaviours across different devices.
3. Let Go of the Fancy Equipment
You need not hire expensive and fancy labs to test your applications. A quiet room isn’t likely to be the most accurate environment for regular app users. To get relevant feedback, you must encourage your users to use it as they would on a normal day.
For example, if you make an app for commuters to help people get a bus home, the best place to test it is on the streets. It’s because it’s the app’s natural environment. Testing the app in a quiet room won’t give your intended users a sense of realism and immersion.
If you want to test your app in a classic testing environment, you must cut down on costs. Avoid testing labs with fancy features like two-way mirrors and padded walls. Instead, opt for the standard conference rooms.
The best part about this is that your company may already have a conference room. This means it’s easier to get your employees as beta testers before getting actual users. That way, you already refined your app before letting common users test it.
4. Test Emotional Engagement
You must test your app’s emotional engagement alongside usability and functionality. It’s because a lot of users choose emotionally-driven choices instead of logic. In some cases, your app’s look and feel can elicit an emotional reaction from these users.
If you make a well-designed app, it’s likely to make a rich app-to-user relationship. Making an emotional connection with your application is one of the most powerful methods of making loyalty. It would also help to follow the development trends in mobile app creation.
Develop a Powerful Application Today!
If you’re looking to develop a great app, don’t neglect user testing and validation. Remind yourself of why user testing and validation are worth the investment. Use this guide to help nurture your application and make the most out of its development process.
Do you need help making a mobile application for your business? If so, contact us today and let us help you out.